ENHANCEMENT OF THERMAL INACTIVATION OF CRONOBACTER SAKAZAKII WITH INCLUSION OF PARABENS
Buchanan, Robert L
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Parabens are a family of p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters, which have antimicrobial activity over a broad pH range (4-8). This study was designed to evaluate the enhanced thermal inactivation of Cronobacter sakazakii by the inclusion of “parabens” and to ultimately develop mathematical models to describe this effect. A heat-resistant strain, Cronobacter sakazakii 607, was heated at three mild heating temperatures in combination with treatments with five parabens in various concentrations. Results showed the presence of parabens significantly enhanced thermal inactivation in a concentration-dependent manner, and the effect increased with increasing alkyl chain length. The concentration of parabens, alkyl side chain length, and heating temperature acted synergistically, causing bacterial inactivation even at low temperatures that were not effective in killing C. sakazakii. The survival data were used to develop primary and secondary mathematical models that accurately describe how this synergistic activity can be applied in the food industry.